Trump – Full Speed in Reverse?
This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on September 13, 2017.
By and large, society has moved from being nomadic to being agricultural and then to being industrial and now to the phase of being postindustrial or information-based.
How would you like if a leader in England protested the industrialization of England and demanded going back to being an agricultural society?
Some tried. They failed.
I suggest that Trump is trying to do something analogous by bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.
I believe America has advanced beyond being an industrial society. It is now in the postindustrial stage. This is evidenced by the increase in the role of services in the GNP. Manufacturing has moved to countries where labor is cheaper. Our labor is expensive. More educated. Who wants to do the work that could be done by immigrants, legal or not, or the less educated? They provide the physical labor necessary for manufacturing. The indigenous American, the educated ones (and we push for education nonstop), are going into service industries, whether finance or health or education. Or into information technology.
Look at universities. Who is studying at schools of engineering and science? Kids from Asia. And what are the American kids studying? Music, art, women’s studies, environmental studies…
America is not at the industrialization stage of its development. It has moved beyond it. Trump is trying to bring manufacturing back from abroad and at the same time stop or limit immigration. Who will do the work? How will it impact the cost of labor component of the cost of work done? Will it just reduce profitability by some insignificant amount or make us uncompetitive?
I remember driving from San Diego to Los Angeles along the Pacific coast. Right there, I could see the progression of civilization.
First, I saw agricultural land. Then some chimneys, and then I arrived at the Laguna Beach community.
The Laguna Beach community is a center for people who write, compose, and paint. A beautiful, artistic community.
People live humbly. Nothing ostentatious. Their focus is not on materialistic goals but on self-actualization.
And that is what America needs going forward. To change our goals. Measure our quality of life and not our standards of life.
The problem of unemployment should be solved not by more manufacturing but by job sharing. Work less. Enjoy life more.
We need to change our goals and how we measure success. Not going backwards. Go forward.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes